Archive for January, 2009


In my research for finding quality items of advertising, design and marketing, I have been delighted to see a vast number of companies partake in the “fun” that websites and interactivity have to offer. I’ve already shared the HEMA website, and I know other sites have been mentioned on here before but I’d just like to reiterate how effective these interactive and fun websites are. This newish form of advertising is so vital in maintaining the brand it represents. Especially when it’s coupled with establishing increasingly important customer rapport and appreciation that companies need to survive these days.

Making coffee-ring snowflakes is a fun activity that McDonald’s is using to promote their new “McCafe” mochas, lattes, cappuccinos and other fancy coffees. Simple, pretty and printable, it’s a great example of interactive viral marketing. Another successful microsite! (And this is coming from someone who dislikes McDonald’s) I’ve already shared the microsite with my friends…and I’m sure I’ll be posting it on my Google reader asap!


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It was so normal and unassuming until….rolling, falling, squashing, clinking, music, fire, teapot whistling, corks popping, balloons flying, radio! OMG OMG!

Here is an excellent example of an interactive fun viral campaign (winner of a 2008 Webby Award in Viral Marketing) that introduces a website and promotes online products at the Dutch store HEMA (Hollandse Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam).

The viral campaign website was created to look like the regular HEMA website, however some lovely sensory experiences were included. Visual and auditory stimuli create a captive audience as products roll around interacting with one another on the page. When it’s all said and done, some catchy music plays on the “ghettoblaster” (I’m pretty sure that’s not P.C.) and a window pops up urging the viewer to share the experience with a friend, visit the product website and see the whole fiasco again…and who wouldn’t!?

This website isn’t even a traditional website! It does nothing but promote fun and sharing…it doesn’t even sell any products, but it certainly will in the long run. Does it get any easier than this? I doubt it.

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That’s what you’ll think every time you receive an issue of the PSST! e-newsletter, OMFG! Have You Heard?. Not your average monthly e-blast, OMFG is filled with useful and entertaining information… quite a rarity in the world of company newsletters.

OMFG will keep you updated on great word of mouth promotions, tips for generating word of mouth, everything buzzworthy in the financial world and much more. You’ll be the first to know about what’s new at PSST!, special offers and giveaways. More importantly, you’ll be at the forefront of bank and credit union marketing. Without a doubt, OMFG is something you’ll want to forward to all your friends and colleagues, (they’ll thank you for it!).

Sign up for the PSST! e-newsletter.
Your email will not be given to anyone else.

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Our new white paper “Bottling the Buzz: Harnessing Word of Mouth Marketing to Beat the Competition”, is available for download at: www.psst-marketing.com/whitepaper in both PDF and HTML formats. This is the first in a series of PSST! white papers on word of mouth marketing for financial institutions and explains how banks and credit unions can make the most of their marketing budgets during a recession by foregoing expensive conventional advertising.
If you’re marketing a bank or credit union, there’s one big question that you should be asking yourself:

“What can we give people that will make them feel good when they tell others…thus making them want to tell others?! What can we do that’s so buzzworthy that they cannot possibly keep it to themselves?”

It’s not as hard as it sounds. A lot of it simply boils down to understanding your brand, your market and how word of mouth spreads. Our white paper covers the main principles of word of mouth marketing, outlines the basic steps to developing a word of mouth marketing plan, analyzes why word of mouth marketing makes sense for financial institutions and explains how word of mouth marketing is more cost-effective than traditional media.

In addition, the report provides numerous examples of how forward-thinking banks and credit unions are already using word of mouth to their advantage. Read about how your bank marketing peers are already leveraging buzz marketing tactics and seeing high returns.

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Want to sharpen your word of mouth marketing chops?  Of course you do, what a silly question. Then check out the Society for Word of Mouth’s new feature, Webinar Wednesdays.

As SWOM itself describes it:
“SWOM’s Webinar Wednesdays begin Jan. 14. They’ll be hour-long sessions to help you build word of mouth into the DNA of your organization. Each webinar from a noted expert will cover a topic that’s key to generating word of mouth — topics rooted in social media, psychology, sociology, even Hollywoodology — all focused on helping you transform your organization into being so customer-centric that word of mouth and evangelism naturally flourish.”

Register at http://011409swomwebinar.eventbrite.com, and remember, while it’s free, there is a limit of 100 participants (the first one, on Jan 14, is already full!).  So sign up quick and stay tuned to the SWOM in the future to keep on top of opportunities to sign up!

And of course, while you’re at SWOM, don’t forget to sign up for the Financial SWOM group to discuss word of mouth for banks and credit unions.

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As we like to remind bank and credit unions interested in word of mouth marketing, there IS a conversation going on out there right now. There ARE opinions and discussions being shared. And there are increasingly more and more ways to monitor those conversations.

One such way we’ve learned about is BrandTags. As they say on the homepage, “The basic idea of this site is that a brand exists entirely in people’s heads. Therefore, whatever it is they say a brand is, is what it is. 1.2 million + tags and counting.” The premise is simple: they show you a logo, and you input the first word that comes to your mind. The site saves all those words as tags and shows you what others have said about any brand.

We decided to see if Bank of America had a section. And oh yeah, did they ever. See for yourself.

Here’s a few of the main words that jumped out: “Assholes,” “bastards” and “crooks” and about seven variations on the word “thieves.” If you look hard you can find a couple positives like “great online banking.” But yikes. It’s decidedly negative to say the least.

Contrast this with a brand we love, Virgin. The big words that you see are “awesome,” “edgy,” “cool,” “sex,” “fun,” “hip” and “innovative.” Hmmm, a touch better than Bank of America fared.

The takeaway: the truth hurts. And as we all know, people who are angry tell lots of people about their bad experience. But, it’s better to know what conversations are going on, than to pretend they don’t exist.

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How cool is this word of mouth promotion from Burger King. The fast food chain created a bunch of standard looking wallets that they filled with BK gift cards, sometimes cash, a driver’s license for their creepy king character, and various BK messaging disguised as credit cards.

These cards are being left on the ground, on tables, on sidewalks all over major US cities. Unsuspecting civilians are being chased down by good samaratin strangers who are shouting at them, “hey, you forgot your wallet.”

Imagine having a wallet that doesn’t belong to you returned to you only to find it filled with guilt free money and free stuff! It’s had quite an impact on tons of bloggers, the internet has been buzzing with talk of this Burger King campaign.

With very little money and a lot of creativity, Burger King has managed to get promotion that lasts way beyond the minimal effort of dropping a bunch of wallets. (Look, I’m even giving them free promotion right now!). Plus, this is an idea that banks and credit unions could easily tweak to make appropriate for their own promotions.

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